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India FM hails Israel as 'most trusted partner' during first official visit to Israel

Indian Foreign Minister, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar in Jakarta, Indonesia on 5 September 2019 [Anton Raharjo/Anadolu Agency]
Indian Foreign Minister, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar in Jakarta, Indonesia on 5 September 2019 [Anton Raharjo/Anadolu Agency]

Indian Foreign Minister, Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, hailed Israel as their "most trusted and innovative partner," during yesterday's meeting with US, Indian and Israeli business leaders and government officials.

"The degree of trust between us is very high," said India's top diplomat, as he encouraged increasing trade ties between the countries during the business meeting at Jerusalem's King David Hotel.

Jaishankar, who arrived in Israel yesterday morning, added that he was confident that the Indian Jewish community in Israel will bring the two countries even closer together in the coming years.

Ron Malka, the Economy Ministry director-general and a former ambassador to India, said that Israel's ties with India are "the biggest achievement we have done with any country in international affairs." He called the relationship "a key strategic partnership."

Under the right-wing Modi government, India has struck a special bond with Israel. The past few years have seen the two countries move further to the right and take positions on domestic and international issues that are at odds with international law.

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Jaishankar began his first visit to Israel with a visit to the Indian cemetery in Talpiot, a southern neighbourhood of Jerusalem. "I am deeply honoured to pay homage to the valiant sons of India who fought with bravery and courage in this land during WWI, bringing glory to themselves, their comrades and their motherland," he wrote in the guestbook, according to The Indian Express.

Israeli Foreign Minister, Yair Lapid, thanked Jaishankar for his visit, marking the start of celebrations of 30 years of ties between the countries.

"We see India as an important ally for many years," Lapid stated. "India also brings new opportunities for cooperation."

Jaishankar's trip also began during the joint air military exercise in Israel dubbed as the "Blue Flag," in which the Israeli, Indian, American, German, Italian, French, Greek and UK air forces are taking part, which is due to run until 28 October.

India's foreign minister will be in Israel until 21 October.

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Asia & AmericasIndiaIsraelMiddle EastNewsPalestine
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